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Mark Schmuckler

Psyb20-ch 13 Defining sex and gender -gender, refer to cognitive and social differences -sex refer to biological and physiological differences -gender typing: children acquire values motives and behaviors viewed as appropriate to their gender in a specific culture -gender based beliefs: what behaviors are appropriate -gender stereotypes: which are the beliefs that members of an entire culture hold about the attitudes and behaviors that are acceptable and appropriate for each sex -gender roles: composites of distinctive behaviors that males and females in a culture exhibit, reflection of a culture’s gender stereotypes -gender identity: perception of themselves as either masculine or feminine and having characteristics and interests appropriate to their sex -gender role preferences: desires to possess certain gender types characteristics -sexual preferences: attraction to opposite or same sex Gender role standards -parents and other agents of socialization, teach them standards for behavior that are gender based -parents dress, select toys and activies and same sex playmates and often react negatively when children behave in ways they consider gender inappropriate -world of work remains stereotypically gendered, children and adults still tend to think of mechanics as men and nurses as woman -asian societies, children were more commited to maintaining gender role stereotypes than were more westernized children -standards vary with ethnicity, African American families are more likely to socialize children without strict boy-girl gender role distinctions, and so are less likely to hold stereotypes about woman -age affects gender role expectations,young children especially rigid in their gender stereotyping become more flexible as they develop -education also affects, children of working mom hold less rigid stereotypes about role of mom and dad, but you will still see some well educated men who hold stereotypes -despite all of the changes, we continue to see men as aggressive and woman more sensitive Gender differences in development Developmental patterns of gender typing -children develop gender typical behavior patterns at an early age before they can tell us about their gender based preferences through behavior, ex: such as expressing preference for gender type toys -the male role is more clearly defined and greater pressure for boys to conform to their stereotype -boys are “systematizers” where they focus on trying to understand and organize a domain, girls are less focused on specific interests -boys develop more intense interests and their preference for egnder stereotyped toys remained consistent across a wide range where females preferences changed as they grew older -boys shy away from things that are for girls, but girls prefer what is at high status -parents accept more masculine of females then feminine of males -parents encourage a patterns of interest like in household tasks, they will malke girls help them cook and clean and get boys to help dad fix things Stability if gender typing -girls may take on male roles but grow out of it at puberty -individual children who are strongly masculine or feminine during childhood tend to be more masculine or feminine during adulthood -the stability of gender typed characteristics was related to cultural acceptance -characteristic congruent with gender role standards it led in adulthood to similar behavior ex: girls who was very dependent of others in childhood might become a secretary -during adulthood most people’s masculine or feminine behavior remains stable -gender roles may shift as adults meet the demands of new situations and circumstances ex: parenthood even among egalitarian parents, mother will be more expressive, more nurturing caregiving while men will be more instrumental more task and occupation oriented Gender differences in abilities -grades 3-11 boys more likely than girls to make correct judgment of spatial relations -few gender differences in spatial abilities are found in children in poor familes suggesting that these differences are at least to some extent determined by environmental opportunities -male female differences have to do a lot with environment -men more spatial females more verbal -boys math superiority only surfaces in high school years probably because of the lower expectation of teachers and parents for girls math -girls speak and write earlier than men- autism 4x more in men than girls Biological factors in gender differences Hormones and social behavior -differences in the concentration of hormone become pronounced after puberty -prenatal period, hormones organize the fetus biological and psychological predispositions to be masculine or feminine -testosterone during preg: females with more aggression testosterone after birth: more assertive dominant females -studies of john money, studied prenatal anomalies, like high levels of androgen in female fetus -he said gender roles are highly dependent on social factors, and there is a critical period for the establishment of gender role identity -challenge to this; a case of Reimer who had his penis amputated during castration, he had a sex change surgery and was raised as a girl and was taking hormones, despite this he was never comfy as a girl -this shows the effects of biology and disproves money’s theories showing both environmental and biological factors Hormones and cognitive skills -sex hormones may determine a fetus brain organization which may lead to gender differences -prenatal androgens in females high show females with better visual spatial skills than other girls -there is also evidence of diff in female and male problem solving skills Brain lateralization and gender differences -most people right hemi spatial processing and left verbal info -mens brains are more lateralized than females -men damage to left hemi more likely to have verbal damage than if a female suffered damage -in men there is more activity in left brain in verbal processing contrary to woman where there is shown activity in both sides with language Biological programming and cultural expectations -behavioral tendencies could easily be due to cultural expectations -they have not detected any differences in mothers and fathers responses to infant cry -they are biologically endowed but culture and social context makes it stronger -males superior visual spatial ability is fostered by culture, like boys are encouraged often than girls to play with toys that involve spatial abilities, experience with blocks, models and video games moreover enhances spatial skills Cognitive factors in gender typing -childrens own understanding of gender roles and rules contribute to the process of gender role acquisition Kohlbergs cognitive developmental theory -children’s differentiation of gender roles and their perceptions of themselves as more like same sex rather than opposite gender models begin early -physical and behavioral clues used to categorize people and themselves as male or female -they find it rewarding to behave in gender appropriate manner and to imitate same sex gender models -consistency between children’s actual gender and the way they see themselves and their behaviors and values is critical in sustaining self esteem Stages 1. 2-3 yrs they acquire basic gender identity recognizing that they are either male or female 2. 4-5 they acquire the concept of gender stability accepting that males remain males vice versa 3. 6yrs changes in appearance or activities do not alter gender ex: a girl who plays football is still a girl -boys and girls acquire gender indentity first and understanding on stability next and finally an appreciation of constancy -children come to recognize males and females as distinct categories probably has its origin in early infancy -9-12 months infants show intermodal knowledge of gender by correctly matching female voices to female faces -understanding gender begins earlier than Kohlberg said -young children have some understanding of gender words ex: 18 month girls matched male and female voices with labels lady and man -at 3 yrs of age they understand the concept that they themselves and other children belong to a gender class or group -genital knowledge is an important determinant of gender constancy -kohlbergs theory was not entirely accurate in predicting that children would behave in more gender typed ways after they fully understood gender constancy -children who had developed gender identity engaged in more gender typed play at age2 than children who gained gender identity later -girls who had acquired gender stability chose to play with other girls more than did girls who acquired gender stability later Gender-schema theory: an info processing approach -gender schema theory: children develop schemas or naïve theories about gender that help them to organize and structure experience related to gender differences and gender roles -tell children kinds of info to look for in the environment and how to interpret such info -Study:children asked to recall gender inconsistent pictures and they tended to distort info by changing the gender of the actor, showing they had schemas for what was gender appropriate -degree to which they rely on schemas changes with age -they use these gender schemas to evaluate and explain behavior ex: when they were told about a child who spilled some milk they evaluated the behavior more negatively if the child was a boy because they gender schema showed boys as bad -the links between gender schemas and the child’s own behavior are presumed to occur through selective attention to and memory for own sex relevant info and through motivation to be like same sex others The influence of family on gender typing -parents speak differently to infant boys and girls, hold and move them differently and choose different clothes and toys for them -they provide diff opportunities for boys and girls to learn sex-typed behaviors by enrollin them in different activities Parents influence on children;s gender-typed choices -parents influence gender early by bedroom and clothes Parents behavior toward girls and boys -they tend to behave differently with their sons and daughters but fathers are especially likely to treat them differently Infants and toddlers -fathers, more extreme than mothers in emphasizing size strength coordination and alertness of sons vs fragility and beauty of daughters -consistent with prediction from and evolutionary theoretical approach to gender differences which emphasizes strength and competitiveness in boys and nurturance in girls -strangers play more masculine ways with baby they think is a boy and vice versa -fathers tend more to sons especially if they are the first borns -fathers are more likely to cuddle their infant daughters gently than to engage in active play with them -mothers tend to treat female and male babies pretty much the same way -both parents are more verbally responsive to girls -fathers may play a more important role in gender typing process than mothers do Older children -father consistently exerted pressure on their children-both boys and girls to play with gender typical toys -they were consistent in rewarding both sons and daughters for play with gender appropriate toys and in punishing them for the play with opposite -with daughters mothers took the same approach but their response
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